To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to encourage the uptake of apprenticeships in (a) the London Borough of Bexley and (b) Greater London.
21 May 2021
Apprenticeships provide people with the opportunity to earn and learn the skills needed to start an exciting career in a wide range of industries, including artificial intelligence, archaeology, data science, business management, and banking. We want more people to benefit from high-quality apprenticeships. Since May 2010, there have been 7,190 apprenticeship starts in Bexleyheath and Crayford (constituency).
We are supporting employers to offer new apprenticeship opportunities by increasing the incentive payment to £3,000 for every new apprentice hired between 1 April and 30 September 2021 as part of the government's Plan for Jobs. We continue to work with the Department for Work and Pensions to enable Kickstart placements to turn into apprenticeships where that is the right thing for the employer and the young person.
In addition, we are supporting the largest-ever expansion of traineeships and are working with employers to develop new occupational traineeships in rail, construction and engineering which will create a pathway for young people to progress into apprenticeships or other employment. The government confirmed an additional £126 million at Budget to fund a further 43,000 traineeship places in the 2021/22 academic year, and we have extended the £1,000 incentive payments for employers who offer traineeship work placement opportunities to July 2022.
To encourage more young people to consider apprenticeships, we are promoting apprenticeships in schools across the country through our Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge programme. This free service provides schools and teachers with resources and interventions to help better educate young people about apprenticeships. In the Skills for Jobs white paper, published in January 2021, we announced that we will be introducing a 3-point-plan to enforce the Baker Clause, our requirement that all maintained schools and academies provide opportunities for providers of technical education and apprenticeships to visit schools to talk to all year 8 to 13 pupils. This includes creating clear minimum legal requirements, specifying who is to be given access to which pupils and when. This is an important step towards real choice for every pupil.